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Strike forces Honda to shut assembly plants in China

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-05-27

Auto giant Honda was forced to halt production at all four of its vehicle assembly plants in China on Thursday after workers at the company's auto part facility in southern China went on strike.

AFP - Japan's Honda Motor said Thursday production at all four of its vehicle manufacturing plants in China had halted after workers at an auto parts factory went on strike.

The shutdown was not expected to last long but it was not known when production would resume, Honda's Beijing-based spokesman Zhu Linjie told AFP.

"The company is negotiating with workers in coordination with the local government," he said.

The assembly lines shut down due to a lack of parts caused by a strike at the company's auto parts facility in Foshan city in southern China's Guangdong province, he said.

Zhu declined to elaborate on the labour dispute, but China's National Business Daily newspaper said workers at the factory were seeking higher wages, which currently average less than 1,500 yuan (220 dollars) per month.

Production at Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Honda's 50-50 joint venture with China's Guangzhou Automobile Group, stopped on Monday, the spokesman said. The venture's two plants are in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong.

Output at Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co, the company's other joint venture in the city of Wuhan in central China's Hubei province, came to a standstill Wednesday afternoon. The venture also operates two factories.

Honda said earlier this week it would boost annual production capacity in the country to 830,000 vehicles from the current 650,000 by 2012 to meet ever-rising demand in China, the world's biggest car market.

The strike was a "short-term problem" and will not affect expansion plans, Zhu said.

Honda sold 576,223 vehicles in China last year, up 23 percent from the previous year. Its sales in China rose 31 percent in April from a year earlier to 55,113 units.

Date created : 2010-05-27

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